When and Where: November 11, 2017 – Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Fieldhouse)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 84, University of the District of Columbia 69
Records: SNHU 1-0, UDC 0-1
Graduate student Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.), senior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) and junior Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) scored 44 of their combined 64 points after halftime to erase a 10-point deficit and lift the Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team to an 84-69 victory against the University of the District of Columbia on Saturday evening in the season opener at the SNHU Fieldhouse.
Walters led all scorers with 25 points (8-21 FG, 9-11), including 15 in the second half, to go along with nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Andrews registered a double-double of 21 points (8-13 FG, 1-1 3-FG, 4-8 FT), a career-best 13 boards and three helpers, with Floras tallying 18 points (7-11 FG, 3-3 3-FG, 1-2 FT) – a team-high 16 after the break – five rebounds and three steals.
Danny Shand paced the Firebirds with 16 points to lead four scorers in double figures. Quadire Truesdale netted 14 points, Traevon Butler added 12 and Khalil Jackson posted a double-double of 10 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks.
Southern New Hampshire trailed, 43-33, with just over 17 minutes remaining in the contest, when a Floras layup and 3-pointer sparked an 8-3 run that trimmed the deficit to 46-41 with 14:19 to go. UDC had stretched the lead to 55-46 with 11:44 on the clock before the Penmen awoken and ripped off 14 straight points to grab a 60-55 lead with just under nine minutes to play. Walters sparked the run with four straight before Andrews added eight-in-a-row on the strength of back-to-back three-point plays.
The score was 62-59 when a 13-3 run – with five points from Walters, and three each from Floras and junior Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) – widened the gap to 13 at 75-62 with 4:12 to go. Southern New Hampshire would score seven of the game's final 10 points to seal the win, with Floras accounting for five of them.
Russo posted six points (2-7 FG, 2-6 3-FG) and four rebounds.
In a back-and-forth opening half, SNHU led, 19-18, with seven-and-a-half minutes remaining when a 7-2 spurt – with the first four points coming from Walters and the final three coming via sophomore Ryogo Sumino (Kanagawa, Japan) – opened a 26-20 advantage for the hosts.
The Penmen lead was 30-25 with more than three minutes to go when UDC closed the half on a 13-3 run – with five from Butler and four from Jackson – to take a 38-33 advantage into the break. The Firebirds would then score the first five points of the second half to open their largest lead of the contest at 43-33 less than two-and-a-half minutes in.
Sumino recorded nine points (3-4 FG, 1-1 3-FG, 2-2), five rebounds and four assists.
- Southern New Hampshire captures its season opener for the 11th straight year.
- Andrews' double-double was the fifth of his career.
- Southern New Hampshire outshot UDC, 49.2 percent (30-61) to 38.6 percent (22-57), including 50 percent (7-14) to 33.3 percent (6-18) from downtown. The Firebirds held a 73.1 percent (19-26) to 68 percent (17-25) advantage from the line.
- The Penmen owned the glass (45-30), the paint (46-25) and a 27-11 advantage in points off mistakes, despite the Firebirds tabulating a better assist-to-turnover ratio (19/9-22/15).
The Penmen return to action Sunday, Nov. 12 (6:30 p.m.) when they play host to Goldey-Beacom College at the Fieldhouse.
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